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TITLE
John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (20 of 39)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_SILVERSMITH_20
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
John Fraser
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2243
KEYWORDS
jewellery
jewelry
craftsman
craftsmen
metalwork
silversmiths
goldsmith
goldsmiths
audio

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John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate.

In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser considers changing attitudes to scrap metal. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Cairngorm brooch.

'And in those days, of course, they kept a barrel; all the sweepings from the floor. Everything went into the barrel and then it was sent off to the bullion dealers, perhaps every two years, and you got a reimbursement. But of course, in those days it wasn't, it didn't appear to be very much. It might have been £10, £15, whereas today, I mean, if you were sending your scrap off, depending how much scrap you were building up, you would get a lot more for it. You'd get about, I would think about £50 - £60 for a kilo today, for scrap. Cos you've got most of it in your skin, but your sweepings - I mean I don't use my s-, I put it all in the bucket and out it goes. And there's probably gold filings and stuff like that amongst it but I don't consider it's worth my time and trouble to go and lift it because I get the scrap that's in the skin at the bench is clean and you can go over it with a magnet, you know, and take the steel filings and stuff like that out of it.

A lot of the processes are very much the same. I mean, if I wanted today - I still draw wire, for odd jobs, at times, cos it's coming back to the point now where you've got to be much more economical in how you're using your silver and your gold. You know, I mean, I find myself now - even with gold sheet and that, you know - if you want to take something out, you're measuring it all out so that you order just as much gold as it'll take it, so that the scrap content is minimal. In other words, you don't want any scrap content at all, whereas in the old days your scrap often was as heavy, if not heavier, than your actual job, but nobody bothered, you never worried about that. Your gold'll perhaps be about what, £3 or £4 an ounce? And your solder at 1/3d. Who was worrying?'

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John Fraser, Inverness silversmith (20 of 39)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

jewellery; jewelry; craftsman; craftsmen; metalwork; silversmiths; goldsmith; goldsmiths; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: John Fraser, Silversmith

John Fraser, an Inverness silversmith, served his apprenticeship in the 1930s with Medlock and Craik, watchmakers and jewellers at 6 Bridge Street, Inverness. The firm later had premises in Exchange Place, and Queensgate. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the 1970s, Mr Fraser considers changing attitudes to scrap metal. The photograph, courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IMAG), is of one of John Fraser's pieces - a Cairngorm brooch.<br /> <br /> 'And in those days, of course, they kept a barrel; all the sweepings from the floor. Everything went into the barrel and then it was sent off to the bullion dealers, perhaps every two years, and you got a reimbursement. But of course, in those days it wasn't, it didn't appear to be very much. It might have been £10, £15, whereas today, I mean, if you were sending your scrap off, depending how much scrap you were building up, you would get a lot more for it. You'd get about, I would think about £50 - £60 for a kilo today, for scrap. Cos you've got most of it in your skin, but your sweepings - I mean I don't use my s-, I put it all in the bucket and out it goes. And there's probably gold filings and stuff like that amongst it but I don't consider it's worth my time and trouble to go and lift it because I get the scrap that's in the skin at the bench is clean and you can go over it with a magnet, you know, and take the steel filings and stuff like that out of it.<br /> <br /> A lot of the processes are very much the same. I mean, if I wanted today - I still draw wire, for odd jobs, at times, cos it's coming back to the point now where you've got to be much more economical in how you're using your silver and your gold. You know, I mean, I find myself now - even with gold sheet and that, you know - if you want to take something out, you're measuring it all out so that you order just as much gold as it'll take it, so that the scrap content is minimal. In other words, you don't want any scrap content at all, whereas in the old days your scrap often was as heavy, if not heavier, than your actual job, but nobody bothered, you never worried about that. Your gold'll perhaps be about what, £3 or £4 an ounce? And your solder at 1/3d. Who was worrying?'